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Murderous Mannequin

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An Arm Cannon: the perfect weapon when you can't move your fingers independently.

A sister trope to Demonic Dummy, the Murderous Mannequin is a clothing mannequin brought to life and sent to kill. Like Mecha-Mooks, a hero can be shown cutting down swathes of these without moral qualm as they are 'not truly alive.'

Also make for excellent Paranoia Fuel — they're everywhere, and they're staring at you.

Like the Creepy Doll, Demonic Dummy, and Perverse Puppet, part of the eeriness is down to the Uncanny Valley.



    open/close all folders 

  • There was an ad for Levis where guy buys a pair of Levi's jeans off a mannequin in a store. Said mannequin proceeds to follow him home, lurks creepily outside his house... and the last shot is the mannequin's shadow sloooooowly moving over the guy's sleeping form. Adding to the spooky atmosphere is the song "I'll Put A Spell On You" playing throughout the commercial.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Fairy Tail during the Fighting Festival arc, Bickslow move his "babies" inside some mannequins. While they don't become "alive", they can still float around, move and shoot laser beams at Gray.
  • Flame of Recca, though it was a surprise. The heroes came upon a beautiful woman and her small doll, who were able to use strings to restrain and kill their enemies. One of them realized that the woman never bled, and so figured out instead of the woman making the doll talk, the doll was actually a little girl, using one of the magical artifacts to give the mannequin life. Cue tragic backstory.
  • One of Junji Ito's short stories was about an artist who made headless mannequins (he wanted people to appreciate the body-language, not the face). Then his creations came to life, began killing people, and placing the victims' heads on their necks. Yeah.

    Comic Books 
  • There's a pulp comic called "Mannequin of Murder" note  in which a guy invents a serum to freeze people into mannequins. This is intended as a form of And I Must Scream torture, but they eventually come back to zombie-esque life and kill their creator. Then they go back to posing, get shipped all over America, and start going on killing sprees after dark.
  • Brother Power The Geek in The DCU is a heroic version of this, although he turned pretty creepy when Neil Gaiman decided to play with the concept. He appeared again in The Brave and the Bold (revival) #29 where he was more of a kind Frankenstein's monster who disappeared under the sewers after saving a child from a fire.
  • Nathan Dolly, from Spider-Woman, managed to transfer his essence into two mannequins and used them to commit several crimes.
  • In Adventure Comics #434, The Spectre battles a mannequin maker whose mannequins come to life and commit murder.

    Fan Fiction 

  • In Ghostbusters (2016), one ghost possesses a mannequin, which goes after the Ghostbusters.
  • A horror short from 1980 called Living Dolls.
  • Frank hallucinates being ripped apart by his own mannequins (on which he placed the scalps of his victims) in both versions of Maniac! (1980).
  • The life-sized Action Man that kills Mrs. Goodman in Xtro.
  • Mannequins feature heavily in the 80’s slasher Tourist Trap.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Channel Zero: Mike's dream at the beginning of "Candle Cove", as the film crew of the man interviewing him turn out to be mannequins and dummies.
  • Doctor Who: The Auton animated shop dummies, which made their debut in Jon Pertwee's first story, "Spearhead from Space"note , are the preferred footsoldiers of the plastic-controlling Nestenes whenever they visit Earth. They only appeared twice in the classic series, but the sight of them coming alive, climbing out of windows and killing people in the streets was one of the show's most iconic scares. There's a reason they're the first Monster of the Week in the revival.
  • A witch animates mannequins as minions in the Kolchak: The Night Stalker episode "The Trevi Collection".
  • A subversion in the recurring sketch on MADtv featuring a psychotic murderer who everyone (except the Only Sane Man) thought was just a mannequin because he would stand really still whenever anyone was looking directly at him. Anyone else who eventually noticed the mannequin kept changing positions would come to the conclusion the Only Sane Man must have been the one to move it and kill all those people for whatever reason.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning", the Monster of the Week possesses mannequins to kill its victims. It sure was lucky that all of its targets happened to work with mannequins or use sex dolls, though.
  • This might be the best way to explain the puppet versions of previous Super Sentai teams unleashed by Basco in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. They basically reanimate previous teams' powers in the form of keys, who then become life size. There's no person in the suit, and yet they're trying to attack.
  • A Yandere one appeared in an episode of Tales from the Darkside.
  • Jeff from Today's Special, only without the "murderous" part.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "The After Hours". This angle is played up throughout the episode, although it's somewhat averted at the end when it's revealed that the main character is a mannequin who got the chance to experience human life, and now it's another mannequin's turn. (Still, they're really creepy.) The 1980s remake has pretty much the same plot, but the mannequins are much creepier (and the main character's transformation back into a mannequin is much more painful looking).

  • Daniel Amos's Doppelgänger is a downplayed example. The cover art and liner notes feature photos of a mannequin who never does anything overtly violent, but is still framed to be as creepy as possible. And he does somehow get ahold of a real human face to wear as a mask...

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Far Side had a Sunday strip with a horror movie blurb spoof, Night of the Crash Test Dummies. Later used as the cover of a strip collection.

  • Destroy the Godmodder has the creepy dummy. It was summoned rather innocently in the first game wearing a shirt that said: "godmodder's friend" on it. then it started to go downhill.
    • It was amusing at first, but then it started to tear people's faces and arms off.
      • But then everyone forgot about it and it just sort of disappeared.
    • Until the second thread, when it came back even worse than the first time around.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Colette Du Bois of Malifaux provides her showgirls with faceless, magical, clockwork mannequins that act as dressmaking mannequins, assistants, and bodyguards.

    Video Games 
  • Played Straight and Subverted in the Amnesia Custom Story: The Things in the Night. Some mannequins (read suits of armor and statues) follow you, some hurt you if you get near them, one talks to and hurts you if you touch it, some seem to move to shield you from view, and at one point some outright talk to you and protect you from a Brute. It Zig Zags all over the place.
  • BioShock: In Poseidon's Plaza, there are Plastered Splicers. As their name suggests, they are covered in plaster, and they disguised themselves as Sander Cohen's statues, often attacking in silence unlike other splicers. Unlike the creepy plaster statues, these bleed and give a dull thunk when hit.
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins — In the mannequin shop, at the very beginning you can see the mannequins each with their Slederman-like appearance. You turn and start walking. LIGHTNING FLASH. They've teleported out of the display case and have now formed a semi circle around the exit. You have no choice but to walk further. LIGHTNING FLASH. They've gotten even closer now. LIGHTNING FLASH. The closer you get to the hole, the more they push you backwards. Finally, once you reach the hole, if you look up you will see the mannequins in a ritual like stance in a circle around the hole. And they're never mentioned again. Also, there are crazy homeless mannequin impersonators on that level, who will actually attack you.
  • Subverted in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Due to bugs, mannequins in the player's house would sometimes get off their pedestals and stand in other places. Since it's just a placement error, this would mean the suit of 7-foot Daedric Armor standing menacingly just around the corner is completely harmless. Other times, they would employ idling animations to move slightly, wave their arms, and sometimes turn their heads to look at you with their eyeless faces.
  • Seemingly invoked in Fallout 4. 1st Generation Synths look like Skelebots, and 3rd Generation Synths can pass for humans, but 2nd Generation Synths are at an uncomfortable middle ground and appear as porcelin-white, expressionless, genderless mannequins (until they take battle damage). Coincidentally, the game is the first in the Fallout series to feature actual mannequins hanging around the ruins of Boston. And if you get both 2nd Gen Synths and mannequins in the same area...
  • In Final Fantasy XI, after mannequins were added as furniture for player houses, they eventually started to be added as rare special enemies too.
  • Maplestory has these as enemies in the Kerning Square area.
  • Subverted in the Half-Life 2 mod Nightmare House 2, which has you spending one level with a lot of mannequins - which multiply and come closer when you do not look at them, but do not attack. You then encounter a SWAT officer knocking on a window from another room and using gestures to show you where to go. When you get to the place where he was, there is just a mannequin.
  • LEGO Dimensions: The Doctor Who based level has Autons show up as mooks. The 2016 Ghostbusters Adventure World also has a quest where the player has to beat up a bunch of possessed mannequins for Leslie, who's too creeped out to smash them herself.
  • The Mannequins in Silent Hill 2. They look a bit a bit different than most mannequins, though.
    • Subverted in Silent Hill 3 — those who played SH2 would expect something from a mannequin conspicuously framed and lit in the center of a room that must be crossed in order to get an item...
  • These exist within the Natural History Museum in Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Their spears pack a punch.
  • One creepy room in Fatal Frame IV has no enemies or ghosts. Unless you take a good long look at one of the eyeless mannequins in the center. The head will TURN TO YOU and open its eyes, revealing yellow demon eyes. If you try to look at it again, it won't do it anymore. It is a common scare in the games to have a doll turn and look at you if you look at it through the camera. However, they only do this once, and the instant you lower the camera, they're back in their original pose, leading some gamers to wonder if they're just imagining things.


    Web Originals 
  • The SCP Foundation has SCP-847: a usually normal seeming (if damaged) female mannequin, it comes to life if a woman approaches within 100 meters of it, with a single minded determination to murder the woman and [DATA EXPUNGED]. It's only known weakness is electricity, which will temporarily render it dormant.
    • Also SCPS 2353 and 2298
  • Played with a short film called Still Life.
  • Worm has Mannequin, a serial killing Supervillain.

    Western Animation 
  • A villain in Inch High, Private Eye, known for being a Gadgeteer Genius (to the point that he even evaded arrest by fooling the police with a life-like replica of himself), built robots disguised as ordinary mannequins, sold them to department stores, then used them to rob the stores and return to him.
  • The Mona the Vampire episode "Night of the Living Mannequin". Of course, what Ms. Imagination Mona believes are mannequins being used to take over the town are really just mannequins being remade and modeling a new fashion line.
  • In the episode "The Mysterious Mr. Mist" of The New Adventures of Superman animated series, a disembodied spirit possessed a mannequin and tried to drag Lois Lane back to his underground kingdom.
  • One of SheZow's enemies is Manny Ken: a gigantic animated shop mannequin.
  • In the Super Friends episode "The Rise and Fall of the Super Friends", Mxyzptlk brings some mannequins to life with his Reality Warper powers. They actually manage to beat the crap out of Superman even before one brings out some kryptonite.

    Real Life 
  • A Reddit user thought the mannequin in this parking garage was a stalker who wanted to kill him. It didn't, but the dummy sure is creepy.


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